In light of today’s FCA announcement regarding the extension of mortgage payment holidays, James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, said: “The official extension of the mortgage payment holiday scheme will provide a welcome relief to many homeowners. We know the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is a daily worry for many of us – particularly where regular income has been affected – and this will give people who are finding it difficult to make payments some very welcome certainty and comfort.
“If you think you may struggle to meet your regular payments because of the impact of the pandemic, it is vital that you speak to your lenders and other providers as soon as possible. They will discuss what help they can provide that best suits your circumstances, which might be a payment holiday, reducing or waiving interest. Importantly, you must confirm an agreement with your lender before stopping any payments, for example by cancelling Direct Debits. Unless you have an agreement in place, unauthorised missed payments can lead to penalties and are likely to impact your chances of getting credit in the future.
“If you agree a payment holiday with your lender, it’s important to remember that any unpaid interest will probably still need to be paid back to your lender – but you won’t have to worry about any additional fees or charges.
“We are committed to helping people safeguard their finances and credit scores at this challenging time. In response to these extraordinary circumstances, a new agreement by Experian, the other credit reference agencies and lenders is helping make sure people’s credit scores are protected where payment holidays are agreed.”